UK: Islamist preacher banned from Guantanamo Bay event
An Islamist preacher has been banned from addressing a major British fundraising event amid claims he backs attacks on UK troops and supports terrorist organisations linked to Al Qaeda.
The revelation that Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemen-based preacher accused of advocating violent jihad, was due to speak via video link at Kensington town hall later this month, has raised fears public buildings are being used for extremism. A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said: "Some of the views expressed by Mr al-Awlaki in the past are not appropriate for broadcast in [council] premises."
The council banned al-Awlaki from speaking only after politicians and anti-extremist groups raised concerns about his appearance at the Cage Prisoners event, which will raise money for Muslims held in Guantánamo Bay.
Source: The Guardian
From the Cage Prisoner's press release:
Imam al-Awlaki has never been charged, let alone convicted, of any offence. He was accused of being involved in international terrorism as were other guest speakers, Moazzam Begg, Sami El-Hajj, Moussa Zemmouri and Binyam Mohamed who were incarcerated without charge in Guantanamo Bay. Curiously, the Council does not feel that the involvement of any of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees is likely to damage its reputation. The interest CP has in all of these individuals is their detention without charge as part of the suspension of due process and the rule of law in the ‘war on terror’.
Beyond this, CP cannot comment on any other statements attributed to Imam al-Awlaki or other guests as we are unaware of their accuracy and furthermore, they are of limited importance to the remit of CP which is to focus on civil liberties and human rights. It is this defined focus which is why this year’s annual dinner is being sponsored by three of the UK’s leading anti-terrorism solicitor firms – Birnberg Peirce and Partners, Tyndallwoods Solicitors, and Khan Solicitors.